There is a war between two clocks in my room. My alarm clock is connected to an atomic clock somewhere that constantly adjusts its time. It has the same time as my cell phone, which also claims to be super-accurate. I also have an original fake $50,000 watch straight from Chinatown with the months listed out of order. The watch never has the same time as my atomic alarm clock, but it is actually much more beautiful than the latter. Which one shall I trust?
The entire world chose to follow the inaccurate heroic description of Socrates offered by Plato and to ignore the far more accurate portrayal by Aeschines. We have chosen to remember Socrates as the merciless interrogator, committed to nothing but the truth, and determined, by means of incisive argument, to lay his own and our moral lives on a foundation of knowledge rather than opinion; a specialist in moral philosophy and moral psychology; a man of immense moral integrity, who was unjustly put to death. We ignore Aeschines’ accusations that the great Socrates was actually an avid supporter of the Thirty Tyrants who were attempting to change Athens into a Spartan-style society. History has taught us to trust my fake-original Chinatown watch rather than my atomic clock.
How do we decide whom to trust? How do we choose our teachers and guides? We have so much difficulty trusting ourselves, our insights and experiences, how can we so easily trust others?
I know that we can only decide whom to trust if we care enough to find the truth. It is only the searcher after truth that will have sufficient lucidity to determine who is trustworthy. The act of searching will provide the necessary clarity. Thank God, The Foundation Stone is growing as a virtual community of searchers.
Isaiah speaks of The Seeds of Light we can use in our search. Aharon and Donna Perel sponsored the essay in memory of Rabbi Noach Weinberg zt”l, who planted seeds of light wherever he went. The Music of Halacha; Things, introduces us to Halacha’s view of relationships, which can help us understand how to prepare for the most essential ingredient in any relationship; trust. Table Talk discusses the issue of trusting our experiences, and the Introductory Essay on Prayer, in honor of Louis Fridkis, the famous questioner from What Is The Reason, teaches us how to trust our spiritual experiences. Rabbi Irwin Katsof gently reminds us how to use our words in a trustworthy manner in Words Can Heal.
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Rabbi Simcha L. Weinberg